It is March 2009, I had just returned to Mombasa from attending a big conference held in K.I.C.C., Nairobi, famously dubbed “Gospel Revolution.”
I was disturbed. For the first time my teaching and preaching was greatly challenged! I have been the senior pastor of our church in Mombasa since 2002 and all along had no doubt that I was an outstanding Gospel preacher and teacher. Many pastor friends and bishops would always invite me to speak in their churches on a specific theme whenever they felt that their members were not doing good enough. There was no doubt that I had mastered the art of identifying scriptures that would incite or instill fear, terror and condemnation in order to cause listeners to respond positively to what I wanted them to do for God.
There was no doubt that I had mastered the art of identifying scriptures that would incite or instill fear, terror and condemnation in order to cause listeners to respond positively to what I wanted them to do for God.
But this particular day, as I pondered over the Gospel Revolution conference I had just attended in Nairobi, I couldn’t deny the fact that something was badly wrong with my teaching and preaching! More significant was a demonstration made by one lady preacher during the conference with two flowerpots that were on the platform. One flowerpot had a green, healthy and attractive plant while the other had a dry, ugly, and dying plant. She related the dry and dying plant to believers who were always being blamed and condemned for not doing enough good works, and yet just like the plant, they genuinely desired to be better but cannot help themselves! This illustration confirmed my fear - I had not fully understood the Gospel!
Some few weeks after the conference, I received a mail informing me of the launch of Gospel Revolution Bible College of East Africa in August 2009. Relevant application forms were enclosed within the envelope. The same week this posted mail arrived, a Congolese couple working with the United Nations office in Arusha, Tanzania, visited the church and me. When I shared with them my earnest desire to join the college, surprisingly, they were more than glad to sponsor me. So I grabbed the opportunity and got enrolled in this amazing school of ministry that later changed its name to World Impact Bible Institute of East Africa.
The transformation, as a result of joining this institution, was enormous and affected all areas of my life ranging from personal, to marriage, family and ministry in general. My wife would often openly speak of my change of attitude towards her and the children. When I discovered that God’s love for me is not determined by what I do to please Him, but on what Jesus has done on my behalf, I began to accept and love people God’s way. Somehow, with time, my wife and children began relating freely with me since I no longer pointed at their mistakes all the time.
Ministry is no longer a heavy burden I carry at the expense of my family any more. I now know that Christ paid the price and that he called me to rest in His finished work of the cross, and that all I need to do is to totally depend on Him as I walk in ministry. I do not need to endlessly wrestle and confront devils but only need to stand in the victory He has already won for me. I have never enjoyed doing ministry so simply with so much impact like this before! The congregation has not only been multiplied but amazingly no longer needs to be pushed and threatened in order to give their tithes and offerings. Their giving has constantly been on a steady increase as I focus on making them understand how God has already blessed them in Christ. They now know that they do not give to get but rather they are already blessed in Christ so they can now give as appreciation!
When I discovered that God’s love for me is not determined by what I do to please Him, but on what Jesus has done on my behalf, I began to accept and love people God’s way.
Relationships in church have changed for the better, as all believers have understood to look at each other with God’s grace, focusing more on each other’s strengths rather than weaknesses. Our open-air evangelistic meetings are attracting bigger crowds with amazing testimonies of miraculous healings and diverse miracles in every meeting! Believers find it easy to communicate the Gospel as I teach them to no longer be confrontational but gentle in their approach as they share the love of God. Unbelieving passersby would be stopped in their tracks as they could not ignore but hear the love of God being portrayed in the right manner. Many of them respond positively.
I thank God for this school of ministry that has helped to open my eyes of understanding to rightly divide the Word of God, not only for others but for myself as well. I wish I had known this truth much earlier. Nevertheless, I cannot but agree that God’s timing is always the best. May the Lord continue to bless the principal and the staff working with her as they reach more ministers with this wonderful revelation. It is obvious that the challenge against deep-rooted legalism is great, but thank God that our Lord is greater! It is He who works in us to will and to do His purposes. We can always depend on Him; He is enough. I am enjoying this wonderful REST IN CHRIST! I pray that you too will discover this mystery.